1. Lobbying, corruption risks and the need for regulation 2. Effective coverage of the lobbying community 3. Registration systems for lobbyists 4. Quality and frequency of disclosure 5. Oversight and enforcement mechanisms 6. Self-regulation mechanisms 7. Regulating the public sector 8. Conclusion 9. References
Regulation of lobbying is a relatively new global practice and in many places legislation is either non-existent or lags behind the growing industry of lobbying. Compared to European countries, lobbying has long been regulated in Canada and the United States, where comprehensive disclosure requirements for lobbyists have been in place for more than two decades. In these countries, regulations for transparency in lobbying are accepted as a matter of doing business in the profession. Regulatory regimes in Europe remain weaker overall. Slovenia stands out as having a relatively robust framework, while Lithuania and Poland still lack sufficient enforcement mechanisms for their recently passed legislation.
As demonstrated by the examples discussed below, an effective framework for regulating lobbying activity should ensure comprehensive coverage of the lobbying community through broad but clear definitions of lobbyists and their activities, with a mandatory disclosure regime that allows the public to have comprehensive knowledge regarding who finances what lobbying activities as well as the financial price of those activities. Lobbying regulation should be accompanied by broader measures aimed at transparency and accountability in the public sector, including prevention of conflicts of interest and robust asset declaration systems.